In the world but not of it

October 30, 2009

Part 1; we have a purpose…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and
encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the
Lord. Acts 11:23

It was the persecution of the church after Stephen’s death
that caused many believers to flee to faraway lands. But once again, what the
enemy meant for evil God used for the good and the gospel was preached in
places that were distant and had not yet heard the good news.

This is not how we typically view persecution or trials in
our lives. We don’t usually think of them as a means by which the Lord will get
us to move or cause us to respond in such a way that it results in the gospel
getting to people and places beyond our immediate circle of life.

Yet, this is exactly God’s purpose when He causes
disruption. His desire is to bring all those into the kingdom that will come.
He knows who they are and He knows that there are times when comfort zones and
stagnant situations need to be broken up in order for the gospel to get to
those people.

Life is lived forwards but it is understood backwards. You
can probably look back on events in your life now and see how certain situations,
relationships, emails, phone calls, etc…all got pieced together to get us
somewhere. We can see how the anxieties, discouragements, demotions,
terminations, rejections and similar “not-so-feel-good” events led to Him
defining the purpose for our lives.

In our passage, when Barnabas arrived at Antioch he
encouraged the believers. He knew that they got there under stressful
circumstances but he now saw the work of the Lord taking place and he
encouraged them.

For some, their purpose may not be clear as of today but
that is okay since we don’t judge what the Lord is doing only by what we see.

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